Alyssa Thomas poured in 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Connecticut Sun defeated the Chicago Sky 94-81 in a single-elimination first-round playoff game Tuesday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Thomas' 10 offensive rebounds marked an WNBA playoff record and she also supplied eight assists.
The seventh-seeded Sun, which finished with a 10-12 regular-season record, meets either Minnesota or Los Angeles in Thursday night's single-elimination round, with the matchup pending the outcome of Tuesday night's second game between Washington and Phoenix.
DeWanna Bonner's 23 points and 12 rebounds were also a boost for the Sun. Kaila Charles tacked on 13 points off the bench and Brionna Jones had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Allie Quigley's 19 points led the sixth-seeded Sky, which finished atop the Eastern Conference ahead of Connecticut in the regular season.
Kahleah Copper added 17 points, Gabby Williams had 16 points and Courtney Vandersloot provided 12 points and six assists.
The Sun used a 27-11 advantage in the third quarter to pull away. Connecticut's edge grew to 80-61 before the Sky's 8-2 mini-spurt helped spark a comeback.
The margin dipped to 86-77 on Quigley's 3-pointer with 2:04 remaining.
Bonner scored on a low-post move after another Connecticut offensive rebound extended a possession.
The Sun ended up 27-for-29 on free throws, including Bonner's 13-for-13 mark.
Thomas shot 10-for-19 from the field, and Connecticut overcame 44.3-percent shooting as a team. A 40-21 edge in rebounding was huge for the Sun.
That offset Chicago's 50-percent shooting from the field. The Sky made eight of 20 shots from 3-point range.
Connecticut led 33-25 late in the first half, but the Sky went ahead before Thomas' basket forged a 41-41 tie at the break.
Thomas tallied 13 first-quarter points.
The Sun and Sky split two regular-season meetings.
--Field Level Media